Record tourism and employment surge in Tenerife amid calls for regulation

Tenerife has reported a record number of tourists and a significant increase in employment in the first quarter, marking a strong economic start to the year while highlighting the need for tighter regulation of the holiday rental market.

Tenerife concluded the first quarter with impressive tourism and employment figures, marking a significant stride in its economic and social development. The island witnessed a record influx of over 1.9 million visitors, a 15% increase from the previous year, while the employment numbers soared to 493,150, driving the unemployment rate below 15% for the first time since 2008.

Despite these encouraging statistics, the Chamber of Santa Cruz de Tenerife highlighted a shift in tourist accommodations from hotels to holiday rentals, prompting calls for stricter regulation to ensure quality and fairness in the tourism sector. The Chamber’s Vice-President and the Councillor for Tourism, Lope Afonso, expressed that Tenerife remains a vibrant hub for economic activity and job creation.

Record tourism and employment surge in Tenerife amid calls for regulation

However, he acknowledged the challenges that lie ahead, such as sectoral development, ensuring generational continuity in agriculture, and enhancing tourism quality through effective regulation of holiday rentals.

During a presentation of the ‘Boletín de Coyuntura Económica,’ Afonso, alongside other key officials, discussed the robust growth in various sectors including industry and construction, and the pivotal role of tourism as the island’s economic driver. Despite a slight decline in business confidence, the overall outlook remains positive with many companies expecting stable or improved performance in the upcoming quarter.

Concerns were raised about the growing preference for holiday rentals over traditional hotel stays, which saw only a 6% increase. This trend is seen as contributing to a competitive imbalance in the tourism market and exacerbating housing affordability issues for locals. The Chamber President, Santiago Sesé, stressed the need for administrative simplification and better management of Next Generation funds to support small and medium enterprises and address delayed initiatives.

Record tourism and employment surge in Tenerife amid calls for regulation

The local government is also taking steps to introduce quality standards for holiday rentals to shift the focus from quantity to quality in tourism offerings. This includes potential legislative changes to tackle the conversion of residential properties into tourist accommodations, a trend fueled by owners’ fears of not regaining property control.

As Tenerife navigates these challenges, the emphasis is on creating a sustainable and equitable environment that supports both tourism growth and community welfare.

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